There have been column inches (nay, yards) written about how Children Today are no longer reading books, but have their noses almost constantly buried in their mobiles, tablets, laptops, playstations, nintendos (or whatever), only pausing for brain breath to eat tea or answer a question (and that very grudgingly).

Well, I would beg to differ. Reading and writing are alive and well in Pitteuchar East primary school in Fife. I was invited there a couple of weeks ago as part of a series of Book Week activities to discuss copywriting, books and publishing with two P7 classes. I fought my way through the freak hail and snow (not a good start) but was met at reception by a friendly and confident young lady who introduced herself and welcomed me to the school. She told me all about what the two classes had been doing for book week, and why they had invited me.  I was impressed. When I got to the classroom, there they were – all 43 of them, sitting waiting on me. They sized me up and I sized them up and we all obviously thought that we would get on just fine. And we did.

I suppose I had based my talk and activity on the assumption that kids just don’t really read much for pleasure anymore. Ten minutes into the discussion and I swore I would never make assumptions again. We discussed fiction, non-fiction, tone, style, audience and structure. We talked about our favourite authors and characters – from JK Rowling and Michael Morpurgo to Charlotte Bronte (ok, that was me) and why we liked them. Everyone wanted to say something. I was blown away by their enthusiasm – by their obvious love of books and reading.

They had taken the time to think about questions to ask me. What was the first thing you published? How did you get into copywriting? What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever published (I’m still trying to think of an answer to that one).

And then we talked about writing – about how important it is to read a lot if you want to write well. They are all moving up to secondary school after the summer, and to help staff at Auchmuty High to get to know them, they have been asked to write an autobiography.  So we talked about their autobiographies, too. I read some of them. They were wonderful. Each one had a different tone and style, a different voice.

Before I left, I set them a brief. We held a mock press conference so they could interview me and I then asked them to write, design and publish a feature about my visit for their news board. I said I would award a prize for the best two. And I will.

Last week, I received a lovely thank you letter from them. It was beautifully written and presented and now has pride of place on my wall to remind me that yes – the genie is out of the bottle as far as social media and games software are concerned – but reading and writing are still holding their own (at least in a small corner of Fife).